UI/UX, Visual Identity, Accessibility
iWheel is a navigation mobile map app that is specifically designed for wheelchair users. Combining AR technologies, iWheel helps users improve their travel experience by finding the most accessible route and making the navigation easy to understand. Also, the alert system built in iWheel allows users to call for help immediately in emergency situations.
Speaking of wheelchair users, people’s first impression might be users with disabilities. However, wheelchair users can be seniors who lost their mobility, patients who need temporary or permanent wheelchair support, and people with disabilities. There are about 65 million wheelchair users around the world (Labbe et al., 2018). It is important to provide essential support for wheelchair users to travel or commute better and safer.
Length: one month
All buildings in Canada are required to be wheelchair accessible and are equipped with accessible toilet facilities, “almost all street corners have dropped curbs, and public telephones are specially equipped for hearing aid users” (Disabled World, 2022).
Public buses and trains are also wheelchair accessible as the staff will stop and help wheelchair users get on and off the buses or trains. Accessible outdoor trails and camping are also available. List of accessible trails, camping and activities can be found on Canada’s government website.
With all the efforts on designing and maintaining these facilities, wheelchair users should be able to travel around and live freely in Canada.
However, according to a report released by Statistics Canada, there are more 770,000 housebound Canadians because of their disabilities or health problems, and “lack of accessible transportation is an issue” for one-fifth (19.7%) of them. (Statistics Canada, 2020)
Also, based on an observation photo diary on a wheelchair user’s experience in a wheelchair accessible building, there are some gaps between the accessible facilities and users’ experiences. iWheel app aims to fill those gaps with digital technologies and improve the effectiveness of accessible facilities’ maintenance.